Today‘s markets and products are a complex web of technologies and intelligence. A business ecosystem is an important strategic concept and practice adopted in many sectors, especially in the technology and automotive industries. It typically brings together multiple players of different types and sizes to create, scale, and service markets in ways beyond the capacity of any single organization.
Being part of an ecosystem encourages both innovation and growth. It helps create new value propositions through collaboration and cooperative development. It‘s also a springboard for reaching more customers, therefore achieving more sales and better ROI.
Partnerships stemming from ecosystems create essential synergies that accelerate innovation and help improve the bottom line via cost-sharing during development and by enabling faster routes to market. High-performing innovating companies work hard to develop the ecosystems that deliver these benefits. Indeed, they strive to become partners of choice, increasing the likelihood that the best ideas and people will come their way.
Undoubtedly, fundamental transformations in the automotive sector, such as connected cars, autonomous driving and the electrification of vehicles, are reshaping development and supply processes and altering the competitive landscape. As a result, the traditional top-down value chain tends to be flattened. Considering this new environment, all stakeholders must clearly define their respective position in the value chain and collectively determine the requirements to ensure a winning strategy in the future. In the highly complex autonomous driving ecosystem, all players need to establish win-win collaborations to enhance their competitiveness, and no single player can achieve success without solid partnerships.
Channeling the Power of Ecosystems to Optimize Value Creation
Alliances, joint ventures and partnerships aim to generate synergies that contribute to the added value of a corporation above and beyond the intrinsic value of each participant. Indeed, strategic partnerships have the potential to provide significant benefits to both the partners and the customers. For partners, it means that two or more organizations are committed to specific success metrics, such as a go-to-market strategy leading to increased sales and enhanced ROI through cost-sharing and expense reductions. Additional commitments may include technology roadmap alignment and joint development. Furthermore, partners can take advantage of the enhanced market and customer access, cross-selling, commercial and technology de-risking and cooperative marketing initiatives while leveraging each other’s brand, sales channels, technical expertise and marketing efforts.
Developing a shared roadmap for innovation will enable the partners to keep on making investments that strengthen the ecosystem for the benefit of the end customer and the end user. Hence, for customers, it is undeniably beneficial that two or more organizations operate together to produce something of greater value, which enables them to achieve their individual objectives more efficiently.
Success Factors for Partnerships and Collaboration in Autonomous Driving
One key challenge automotive OEMs and Tier 1s face is the adaptability of complex ADAS and AD systems, impacting development time and costs. Additionally, the current system architectures are incredibly costly to adapt to each OEM’s requirements and different vehicles.
As a result, there is a growing recognition that modular, adaptable and extensible platform architectures are needed to develop a competitive business in this field.
To develop scalable, cost-effective autonomous platforms, automakers realize the importance of collaboration. Growing system complexity also requires greater integration of technologies from multiple suppliers. Collaboration in an ecosystem business model significantly contributes to solving these challenges and providing customers with the right solutions.
With this new reality in mind, LeddarTech developed the Leddar™ Ecosystem – a select group of world-class strategic partners and collaborators that support the customer development of automotive sensing solutions for ADAS and AD applications. In tandem with LeddarTech, the Ecosystem members provide technical expertise, components, software, tools and services, leveraging a hardware-agnostic platform that is both open and scalable.
Members collaborate to deliver the different building blocks to develop and produce automotive-grade LiDAR sensors, designing individual components around a common development platform called LiDAR XLRator, which is based on LeddarTech’s proprietary LeddarEngine™. For customers, the Leddar Ecosystem maximizes design agility and reduces cycle time and costs, leading to a shorter time-to-market. The Ecosystem also benefits the customer through coordinated investments and collaborative go-to-market tactics, resulting in reduced risks and a faster path to high-volume commercial deployments.
With the Leddar Ecosystem comes the ability to develop standardized and more interoperable technologies to harmonize specifications. The focus can also be on defining the right performance levels to address actual use case requirements instead of over-emphasizing single component specs. IP & expertise from these different technology and industry leaders can also be aligned to leverage individual strengths and achieve optimal synergies.
A prime example of how such collaboration can lead to successful business outcomes in the autonomous driving field is demonstrated through the LiDAR XLRator development environment, where Leddar Ecosystem members have worked together to assemble an automotive LiDAR development kit. This industry-first collaboration reduces customer development effort, costs and risks, enabling LiDAR manufacturers, Tier 1/2s and system integrators to develop their LiDAR solutions more rapidly. Using tested and proven technologies from each partner enables an accelerated design process that can potentially avoid years of research and development trial and error.
Via the LiDAR XLRator development environment, Leddar Ecosystem partners have combined their specific expertise and value to provide customers with a truly agnostic and superior development environment.
The time it takes to bring the right LiDAR product to market is a pivotal factor and critical to a project’s success and a company’s competitiveness in the marketplace. By gaining access to comprehensive solutions provided by LeddarTech and the Ecosystem, Tier 1/2s and LiDAR makers can use their resources in the most efficient way possible. We believe it’s a winning proposition for the whole industry going forward.
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